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Marriage and identity crisis

Redefining marriage, gender, age and species


Published: 15 November 2018 (GMT+10)

Those who think that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman (until one of the two dies) need to think again. That is, if you go by a recent ComRes poll.1 In an article summarising the results, the UK’s Christian Institute concluded that a “quarter of young people favour ‘phone-style’ marriage contracts”.2 A few key points of this poll are as follows:

Among 18–24-year-olds:

  1. 24 per cent supported the notion of fixed-term marriage contracts (and a much higher percentage want a low-threshold divorce system).
  2. 32 per cent supported polygamy (although this percentage drops with age).
  3. 30 per cent favoured ‘fluid arrangements’, i.e. promiscuity (although, again, this percentage drops with age).
  4. 13 per cent backed bringing incest into the legal definition of marriage (although 84% of all respondents oppose this notion). It’s just as well chapter 8 of The Creation Answers Book explains the ethics behind Cain’s marriage.

While these percentages are for older teens and twenty-somethings, these views are not held solely by that age group. Significant, although lower, percentages are found across the whole gamut of ages. This, to me, means that these ideas do not originate with the younger generation; they exist among older people too. A moral standard will not disappear from society like the flicking of a binary switch, i.e. on/off, but will, over time, be compromised and eroded. Similarly, a rat will not eat pure rat-poison, but will consume it if it is mixed in with something that is good for food and pleasing to the eye, obviously not realising it will lead to its demise. Every journey begins with a small step; likewise, most lies begin with a small negation or dilution of the truth.

Everyone did what was right in his own eyes

The Bible has much to say about what happens when people do what they want, or in other words, what seems right in their own eyes; and here I would like to draw your attention to the book of Judges. This portrays a sad tale of moral decline, interspersed by brief periods of deliverance of the people by ‘judges’, raised up by God. The judges themselves become morally degraded also, as the book progresses. However, that is not the whole story. Shifting the focus from the judges to the people, chapters 17 and 18 detail the decline in obedience to God and an increased focus on self, people only adhering to God’s rules when it suited them, and forsaking those rules that they deemed inconvenient. It is a sorry tale of the people going from bad to worse as “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).

Are we heading the same way?

The wise preacher Solomon says, “Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us” (Ecclesiastes 1:10). Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the beginning (Genesis 3) people have been choosing the path of destruction, the way of self. What is good/pleasant for me? Eve thought it, Adam did not stop it but participated in it, and undoubtedly you and I have often behaved this way too (Romans 3:23). Is it any surprise, then, that as society becomes more and more disconnected from God and His teaching, as shown in the book of Judges, it is becoming more godless and more selfish? Why should we marvel at the poll results shown above?

Why are these youngsters thinking along these lines?

Personally, I have sometimes observed a lack of commitment among people today (keeping your options open). Also, a throw-away mentality (I will get a new mobile every other year, because I can) is fast becoming the standard in our society. Is it a mistake to think that these thought patterns can filter through into other areas of life? Why is it that a higher percentage of the younger generation wants to redefine marriage? Scripture teaches, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6); fail to do this and we will reap the consequences. It is one thing to point the finger at politicians; it becomes a wholly different matter when we read Holy Scripture and realise our own responsibility:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4–9).

Redefining identity


Elsewhere the ComRes poll includes the following statistics from all age groups surveyed:

  1. 20 per cent believe that young people (under 18) should be able to self-define their gender.
  2. 35 per cent agree with permitting transgender individuals to take part in sports competitions under their new gender identity.
  3. 32 per cent support those who want to self-define their race.
  4. 19 per cent support those who want to self-define their age.
  5. 10 per cent support those who want to self-define their species.

These statistics make alarming reading. Regarding item 5, the Christian Institute’s Colin Hart reported that, “the Equalities Minister [UK Government] Penny Mordaunt has ordered an inquiry into why there has been a more than 4,000 per cent increase in the number of girls seeking support from ‘transitioning’ services in the last decade”.

Everyone agrees that some things ought not to be negotiable; roller-skating around London on the M25 motorway for instance. Likewise, if a child believes he/she can fly, we certainly wouldn’t position them on the top of a tall building and encourage them to be whatever they think they are. However, there is another angle to items 5 and 6. Taking these together, how many proponents with daughters would remain resolute when it comes to assigning locker rooms—and teenage boys insist that they really are girls and should be in the girls’ dressing room? Time and again we are told that it is an offence to point out the original gender of a transitioning person (e.g. the 2002 Vine Christian Centre3 case). Rather, they say, when somebody decides his/her gender is actually different from their birth certificate, that must be accepted. Biological facts and Scripture are ignored (see Celebrating gender confusion).

To be forever young (see item 8) would appeal to many, even to those who are still young at heart. For instance, it has just been reported that 69 year old Dutchman Emile Ratelband wants to be legally recognised as 49. Apparently, “because he feels he is being discriminated against by potential employers and on dating sites, he wants to change his date of birth to 11 March 1969.”4 Recently someone joked to me that he was going to try it on the bus, to insist he was seventeen and possessed a young person’s bus pass, and then challenge the bus driver for questioning his assertion. Will this strategy succeed? Given the bizarre logic that some use, it just might in times to come. Or what about young teenagers suing pubs5 for age discrimination because, having informed the landlord they were 18+ (because that is how they felt), they were still refused alcohol?

Regarding item 9, the scientific community is not crystal clear on what defines a species,6 and it is not uncommon to have more than one name for the same species. People have a longing to be unique and special, so what better way to express this (some may think) than by inventing your own species? It does seem to tie in with what the Apostle Paul wrote, about the glorification of self (the creature), rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25).

Grounded upon Genesis

Without doubt, surveys like this one show that many people are genuinely confused. Confusion brings uncertainty, indecision and doubt, and is not a good counsellor. When a society disconnects itself from a moral rudder, the ship floats around aimlessly, and will not be able to steer clear of looming danger. This is precisely what many countries, including the UK, have done, by shunning the book of Genesis, particularly its teaching in the first eleven chapters.

Referring to marriage, and quoting from Genesis 1:27, Jesus said that, “from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6); and He also quoted Genesis 2:24 when He continued, “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:7–9). Essentially, the ComRes poll results show that UK citizens (or at least a number of them) want to re-define marriage. In the UK and many other countries, the law has already been amended to allow two women or two men to be married, but it seems that this is not enough. Why limit marriage to two? Why listen to God’s Word where it forbids sexual intercourse with close relatives7 (or animals for that matter)? Why wait until a spouse dies, when you could exchange for a ‘better model’ in the short-term, without repercussions? Is this the kind of society we wish to see? Apparently some do, and while it is currently only a minority who think along these lines, how long before it spreads and becomes mainstream? Similarly, people may be horrified to hear about suggestions to legalise infanticide; but many have already accepted abortion as a valid means to rid mothers of unwanted babies. Infanticide is only the next ‘logical’ step.

It is not enough to ‘tut’ at the outcome of these polls. It is time to repent and for Christians to take a stand. Stand on what? Stand on the true foundation of the doctrines taught in Genesis 1–11, that mankind was created in God’s image. Jesus did, so we’ll be in good company, irrespective of what percentage joins us.

References and notes

  1. c4m.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Coalition-for-Marriage-Poll-October-2018.pdf. Return to text.
  2. A quarter of young people favour ‘phone-style’ marriage contracts, The Christian Institute, 24 October 2018; christian.org.uk. Return to text.
  3. Further facts about this and related topics can be found at christian.org.uk/theology/apologetics/other/gender-recognition-act/. Return to text.
  4. Anon, Dutch man, 69, wants to legally change age because he ‘feels 49’, christian.org.uk, 10 November 2018. Return to text.
  5. Pub is short for ‘public house’, an establishment licenced to sell alcoholic beverages. Return to text.
  6. Defining ‘species’ is a fuzzy art, ScienceNews, 1 November 2017; sciencenews.org/article/defining-species-fuzzy-art. Return to text.
  7. Of course, there are inherent genetic dangers but the point is a moral one. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

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Readers’ comments

Harry B.
In a certain movie I like (which I will not name here re site guidelines), towards the very end the chief villain says the truth is what he says it is. But every time I hear that I think, "Wrong. The truth has a name. That name is Jesus Christ, and while he is a God of love and mercy, he is also the God of justice." So, a question for all: you think your "truth" supersedes the real truth, the King himself? Good luck with that. Let me know how it works out for you.
Margaret K.
You are so right that this rebellion away from God has not happened in one generation. The masses threw themselves into it during the falsely termed 'Enlightenment' period of the late 1800's when proponents of faux science invented 'proofs' of man's superiority and presented it with flattery and promises of a superior world. Then came enormous advances in science and people became convinced they could invent and control absolutely anything - even the way they are made. Now Government school systems teach sex to children in the classroom and train them into a mindset which leads to the lifestyle (promiscuity and same-sex relationships) which has the highest suicide rate in the world. All this of course supported and idealised by a cynical media driven by the mighty god of money. Venereal disease is again on the rise, depression and drug use is rising - no, not in 3rd World countries, in the know-it-all prosperous, so clever West.
And with all this advanced knowledge, can we control a tsunami, a cyclone, an earthquake, a volcano? Can the clever educationalists, the climate change wizards and clean energy moguls stop famine? Have they even tried? Do they want the good of the people or just power over the people?
The Western world has its values and priorities sadly mixed up. 'There is none so blind as one who cannot see'. I can only hope that the present generation of children grows up horrified at what we have allowed and takes back true freedom in the Western world, turning from the culture of the mighty ME.
Neil G.
Are we heading that way? We are already there.

Isa 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place ...
Heb 12:26 ... Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
Heb 12:27 And this word ... signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken ... that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain ...
Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent ...

You should know that there is also much more in those verses and their context that I have not included here.
Richard P.
Lucien is quite right that the statistics from the poll make alarming reading. Even so, in every particular they still constitute a minority, even among the younger age bracket. Yet these minority views are still enabled to hold sway, and even endeavour to silence all other views. Hardly a democracy!
Of course, this is to some extent a dangerous argument, as Christianity itself is a "minority view" in this fallen world. Besides, truth is not democratic "Let God be true and every man a liar" Romans 3:4! However, on some moral issues at least, the poll suggests that the majority is still on our side.
John P.
As it was in the days of Noah so shall it be when Jesus comes again, as He tells us Himself. In Noah's time the Nephilim were also around. This time things are getting worse and weirder. I would say the end of the church age ...[is] not too far away. People dressing up as animals is only a short jump away from having sex with them and as society keeps on decaying and degenerating because of the rebellion against God and His Word and wholesale belief in evolution we can see the consequences already. Young and old drifting aimlessly around the rocks of unbelief and suffering the consequences. We need a passion for the lost and prodigals like our Lord and this is what CMI and other creationist organisations have.
It's not only America where the lefties are in control, the same is here in Australia. Religious freedom is going down the gurgler with any Christian standing against the new status quo hounded down and persecuted, such as happened when the wedding magazine White was forced to shut down because they refused to feature "gays" though what's gay about perversion is beyond me. I would not wish it on anyone to be in the shoes of these rebels on Judgement Day before the Great White Throne if they don't repent.
David G.
Because evolution as a pervading intellectual paradigm neither has nor can provide a basis for ethics (of whatever type), people are left with mere 'feeling' as their moral compass. Those who want to have their 'feeling' endorsed by others have to resort to power, because an evolutionary view of life has nothing else with its core theme of 'survival of the least unfit' (note, not 'survival of the fittest' as this introduces an unwarranted triumphalism into what would be a disaster for most organisms). As this progresses we will see increasing recourse to raw power on the road to tyrrany as 'moral' choice will become an imposition of one group against other groups.
Joel L.
Isn't part of the issue that 'normative' male and female are the sum collection of a number of physical, biochemical and mental/emotional traits, rather than any one single defined one?

Of course physically, the differences are obvious (though hermaphrodites exist, and Creation has done a few articles dealing with this complex and difficult subject). Also even at the genetic level, a percentage of people will be physically one gender but genetically the other. However, I doubt anybody would say the scriptural importance of the differences are simply physical.

In the mental, emotional and 'personal', spheres, there are certain areas of divergence areas where most men and women fall on different of a spectrum the majority of the time. But that's an average, not universal to all men and all women.

So does it not seem understandable then( at least on the issue of gender) that given the wide degree of variance and overlap in the personal sphere, a young person desiring to consider people at more than a 'skin deep' level would ask themself 'What does it mean to 'be' a man or woman?', conclude that in those areas that define a person it varies in every single case, and deduce that each person must figure out for themself who or what they are?

What does the Bible say universally define men vs. women, beyond ordained role and function, physical differences and the potential for child-bearing?
Philip Bell
From the outset, the Bible defines human beings as being either male or female, the two genders together 'carrying' the image of God: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). There is no allowance in Scripture for a spectrum of gender, albeit that some people are acknowledged not to neatly fit into the male category; e.g. eunuchs are mentioned in a number of places in the Bible, in different contexts. You raise many points and we would encourage you to explore creation.com to read the several articles written previously that address these things. For example, Male and female He made them... and Transgender arguments... (written by a medical doctor), Hermaphrodites and homosexuality and Gender confused children (by a PhD biologist), plus many more found by using the search engine.
Terry W.
Item 9 might reflect the phenomenon called "the furry", which is dressing up as a plush creature or animal. Recently, Paul Joseph Watson discovered a California transgender dog, his video featuring truly bizarre clips from an interview between "him" and "his" partner. The furry phenomenon is already so bizarre that my comment on the video (with double scare quotes) was "Can't you be a 'normal' furry?" And really, "normal" furries are facepalming in the comments. ...
[link deleted per feedback rules]
Steven F.
I hope all of those things highlighted in this article seem really strange to most of us. But, those notions are really catching on with the American general public and are being promoted by the very powerful liberal left in this country. The liberal left controls the mainstream media, [much of party politics], the computerized social media, the government bureaucracies, the scientific literature, the universities and the public grade schools. With the left wielding that kind of power there is no stopping them without divine intervention. God seems to be lifting his hand of protection. We need to pray for Christ's return to come very soon!
Thomas C.
As one sage said it is hard to not think that mankind has pursued educating themselves into extinction. Only have babies if it is convenient. It never is. And not having children is a direct 'in your face God'. And playing God about one's sexual identity won't stop there either.
May God be merciful to us all.
Tammy S.
I recently saw an article in which some parents of children who want to identify as the opposite sex were expressing themselves to be adamantly against administering puberty-blocking medications, citing the proven "damage" caused to the body and mind of the child receiving the drug. They want the child to have the option to change his or her mind later with little or no consequence. There also seems to be a growing number of people who have had mutilating genital surgery, only to realize that mutilation does not change the genetic reality of male and female, after all, who are now speaking out in regret. I must admit to the surprise and sadness that I felt upon reading about these things; surprise because I didn't expect the fact that the "emperor has no clothes" to be so quickly admitted by those opposed to truth; sadness because of the great harm people are doing themselves and others by persisting in rebellion against God. I am truly thankful to be standing firmly on the rock of ages, seeing clearly because of the light of life, and stabilized by the person of Jesus Christ! I must again thank Creation.com for all the great work done on this site. I also urge all readers, with Paul the apostle: "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching". - 2 Timothy 4:2
Bill P.
This is what happens when mankind takes The Living God of heaven out of the public eye and teaches that The Word of God is old fashioned and has nothing to do with today's modern world. It's made worse by those who are considered shepherds of a flock and preach "if it feels good to you then it is good".
The truth of God and His Word is watered down with the things of this world. I ask all who put their trust in The Lord and those who 'claim' to follow the ways of Christ, "What is better? To teach The Word of God in TRUTH and risk being hated by those who hate what The Word of God says about life, or to have to stand before The Lord one day (and I believe that day is soon) and explain to Him why you twisted The Truth of His Word into a lie?
The day is here now when people need to wake up, and seek The Lord God with all their heart, in Truth, because time is shorter than we think.
Until then, keep up the good work you guys do, and for ALL of us to share The Gospel of Jesus Christ "in Truth" to any who will listen.
David B.
In other words, truth is what you declare it to be and is not absolute despite any evidence to the contrary. You become your own arbiter of truth and therefore your own god. God might just have something to say about that.

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